15.12.2003 | Igor Stoliarov, Odessa

On the attitude of the Odessa mayor’s office to journalists and opposition


The three-day preventive strike of the opposition finished in Odessa. The participants of the strike demanded to cancel the decision of the town council and executive committee on the increase of the tariffs for communal services, to resume the round-the-clock provision of hot water and to dismiss city mayor Ruslan Bodelan.

In early hours of the morning of 1 May the group of strangers tried to provoke the fight with the participants of the strike. Only the interference of law-enforcing organs helped to preserve the public order.

The strike finished on 1 May with the meeting of opposition at the Kulikovy Square.

Two attempts to learn the opinion of the local authorities about the demands of the participants of the strike were unsuccessful.

Oleksandr Zozulia, the head of the department of internal policy of the Odessa city executive committee, who watched the opposition meeting on 1 May, refused to comment the demands of the strike. He pointed at the participants of the meeting and said: „Go to them and ask. We are not conducting this strike and will not comment it. I am not in a mood for commenting“.

Oleg Dmitrik, a deputy of the mayor, was even more flat in the talk with a correspondent of „The Voice of America“. When I phoned to him and asked to organize the meeting with Ruslan Bodelan, at which I hoped to learn the mayor’s comment about the demands of the organizers of the preventive strike, Dmitrik said: „I have no wish to consort with you. These are not my problems…“ and put down the telephone receiver.

When I phoned for the second time, O. Dmitrik informed that I had to write a request on the meeting with the mayor and to wait for several days until the question would be considered.

Meanwhile the Odessa city power organized their own meeting devoted to the 1st May on the Dumska Square. After the meeting the concert was conducted.

The iron fences, which were surrounding the building of mayor’s office, were dismounted immediately after the end of the preventive strike of the opposition.

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